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Old 01-11-2017, 08:18 AM   #1
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Someone broke in this morning around 4:30 while we were still in bed. I'd been awake for a while off and on but didn't hear anything. My wife says she heard a noise but didn't get up for another 25 minutes. Thank goodness they'd left by then. Seemed to have only snagged money from my wallet that I'd left out and her cell phone. A wicked hand tool that we have around for gardening was moved so he was carrying this thing like a sling blade for part of the time. Scary stuff. I'll be figuring out what we can do to upgrade our admitted weak security later today.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:24 AM   #2
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Sorry too hear that but glad you are both OK.
Monitored security system (a few hundred bucks upfront, 20 bucks a month) has provided me with peace of mind for 30 years now. I highly recommend it, although I realize that many people don't get into the habit of arming the system every time they go to bed or leave the house. Never been an issue for us - DW, myself, kids are all well trained
That said, if the system isn't used, it won't protect....
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:27 AM   #3
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Wow, scary stuff. Dude knew residence was occupied--that is the scariest part. We have two huge a$$ dogs but no electronic security system.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:28 AM   #4
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Scary - good luck in finding a reliable means of securing your house.

A few years ago my old boss was awakened by a prowler taking the car keys from the nightstand next to his bed. Thankfully he ran when he realized he'd awakened the owners. They discovered he'd been in the house long enough to help himself to a snack and a few beers from their kitchen refrigerator.

They lived in a gated neighborhood...
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:44 AM   #5
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Wow, scary stuff. Dude knew residence was occupied--that is the scariest part. We have two huge a$$ dogs but no electronic security system.
I'm sure that works well too! Security system doesn't need to pee or eat at 5 AM though
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:58 AM   #6
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Sorry to hear that and glad no one was hurt or traumatized. How did the intruder gain access?

DW is increasingly worried about this though the probabilities in our neighborhood is very low. We also occasionally forget to lock doors. So, we're investing in automation. Our garage door closes automatically after a minute. I'm thinking of getting a digital lock for the front door that locks automatically after 30 seconds. I don't like the idea of security monitoring, but an audio alarm when the door opens may be a good idea.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:02 AM   #7
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Yikes! Glad to hear you are unharmed.

SimpliSafe system and very loud sirens for openers is what I would consider. Then some PPE and training.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:09 AM   #8
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Instead of the traditional (and expensive) 3rd party monitoring services, you might want to consider a DIY approach using WiFi security cameras strategically placed around your house. There are some really nice systems available now -- like Nest, Arlo Pro, Canary Flex, and others -- that cost only a few hundred bucks to purchase and set up and will capture video clips of any motion and alert you in various ways (send a message to your phone, and/or trigger an audio siren, etc.). The best part is that the entire cost is upfront, with no monthly fees or contracts or anything, and you have an indelible video record of anything fishy going on, since these cameras automatically upload the video clips they capture to your own private "cloud" account.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:33 AM   #9
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We hear a lot of bumps in the night. Probably mostly due to night critters like deer, raccoons, skunks, etc. Still it can bring out those primitive fears in one.

Our system:

We sleep upstairs and lock the upstairs door then set the alarm (motion sensor, door monitors,etc.). The outdoor entry is lit until around 1AM too and there are a few perimeter motion sensor lights.

If the alarm trips the alarm company calls us if we don't call in a false alarm. Then they can alert the cops as the alarm goes to the police department too.
I would only go downstairs to investigate if it looked like there might easily have been a false alarm. Once a door swung open downstairs because it was not fully closed or locked and set off the alarm. Now we make sure to lock all entry doors including the one to the secured garage.

Oh and last resort, I have a loaded 38 but would only use it if someone were coming upstairs.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:53 AM   #10
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Instead of the traditional (and expensive) 3rd party monitoring services, you might want to consider a DIY approach using WiFi security cameras strategically placed around your house. There are some really nice systems available now -- like Nest, Arlo Pro, Canary Flex, and others -- that cost only a few hundred bucks to purchase and set up and will capture video clips of any motion and alert you in various ways (send a message to your phone, and/or trigger an audio siren, etc.). The best part is that the entire cost is upfront, with no monthly fees or contracts or anything, and you have an indelible video record of anything fishy going on, since these cameras automatically upload the video clips they capture to your own private "cloud" account.
I live in a gated community, but the gates are left open during the day since the community is still under construction. Over the holidays, many neighbors had packages stolen from their front porches, so this approach is also something DW and I are considering. I am interested in the nest outdoor unit, but am wondering are there any better options. I want an AC powered solution vs battery, a wide field of view, HD, motion activated record, and night vision that can warn to my cellphone. I assume all of these wifi solutions are wpa2 compatible.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:53 AM   #11
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My System:
A very protective dog and a S&W .357 in a holster attached to my bed frame.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:59 AM   #12
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My System:
A very protective dog and a S&W .357 in a holster attached to my bed frame.
My S&W 38 is in a locked case with a simple 3 digit combination lock. Keeps the dust off too. Used to use a gun lock. Being upstairs and all, I figured there will be plenty of time to react.

But this is really an unlikely event. Unfortunately I have a lively imagination especially when I'm tired and it's dark ... so best to be prepared and sleep soundly.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:03 AM   #13
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I'll be figuring out what we can do to upgrade our admitted weak security later today.
I'm glad both of you are OK.

At the very least, consider purchasing and displaying (prominently) a few ADT alarm signs. These are generally considered a deterrent to "drive by" burglars.


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Old 01-11-2017, 10:03 AM   #14
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Wow scary. We have a monitored security system. We rarely used it until about a year ago. Our neighborhood has had a rash of break ins. So now we use it every night and while we are away at work. But if we are home we don't turn it on.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:06 AM   #15
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What an odd time to break-in to someone's home...an early riser could certainly be awake.

Did the local police feel this was part of a pattern and how did they enter your home?
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:06 AM   #16
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Even a couple of simple motion-activated lights can be a big deterrent.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:13 AM   #17
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...Seemed to have only snagged money from my wallet that I'd left out and her cell phone. ...
This is so scary.

Were the wallet and cell phone visible from a window? I have always heard women should not leave their purses where they can be seen from a window (guilty here); a friend actually was watching TV in one room and heard the patio doors break open as a thief dashed in and grabbed her purse from another room. But perhaps your thief was content with taking them so the low-hanging fruit kept him from coming upstairs to find something.

I know people who still never lock their back door. Crazy.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:26 AM   #18
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What an odd time to break-in to someone's home...an early riser could certainly be awake.

Did the local police feel this was part of a pattern and how did they enter your home?
Meth addicts probably don't think too clearly. Just needing another fix.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:38 AM   #19
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We have a pair of dogs, meticulously trained to bark at any potential intruder. UPS delivery trucks, other dogs, deer, squirrels, falling leaves, random air molecules; if any of those shows a hair in my yard, the two noise machines erupt to challenge it. There is no way a burglar can approach undetected. And criminals rely on stealth.

I have concluded that virtually any dog can be a good guard dog. It doesn't need to be a Doberman or pit bull; a chihuahua or toy poodle can be just as effective. All it needs to do is make noise when it senses something odd. And I am certain they're more alert than I am. They can hear things I don't and smell things I can't (other than the smells they create themselves! They sure seem immune to those!) When they start barking, it will rouse the house's humans and indicate to the burglar that he's been spotted.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:50 AM   #20
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We have trained attack cats....


Oh, and a very strategically located Kimber 9mm with green laser sight.

I have been thinking about the new smarthome security stuff though. Some of it seems pretty easy, simple and probably effective.
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